Social Media School

HOW TO START ON GOOGLE+

Also know as G+ or Google Plus, it is Google’s answer to Facebook and Twitter.  There are many reasons to love Google+; it’s got a clean user interface, it’s fast, it’s useful, people are very engaged, and it will add to your search-ability.  The only way you will know if it’s right for you is to actually set up an account.   Then, when Google introduces Google+ for brands you will be well versed in how to use it.  Google+ for brands will be a necessity if you want your company to succeed with social media.

So go to your profile page. Click the red “About” Link (2nd one in), and click the blue “Edit Profile” button in the corner. Put in a photo. Add some information to your “introduction.” Add some (but not a lot) of links to the links area to the right.

And then, this is really important, where it says “Employment” (not occupation), put something REALLY interesting in the “current” one that lets people know who you are, what you do, and where. This is probably the most important part of profile editing that people don’t know much about. Why is it so important? Because when someone sees your name anywhere on Google+ and they hover their mouse over that content, that’s what they see as the representation of you.

Create New Circle Structures

Circles are how you group and organize people on Google+. Your circles are here. The first thing MOST people do is rename these circles into something more useful. For instance, if you want to follow local people, and you live in Toronto, Canada, then make a circle called “Toronto.” If you want to build a circle of people who post great amounts of interesting and useful data about your brand, call it “Business”, and so on.

Find People to Circle

Now, find interesting people to connect with on Google+. I have a few ways for you to do this. Go to FindPeopleOnPlus.com, for one. There’s also group.as. Those are great for just striking out into the wild to look for people.

Once you add a few interesting people, go to THEIR profile page and see who they’ve added to circles. Now, you’re finding some interesting people. I call this “friendsurfing.”

Post Interesting Things

You can create 4 types of posts in Google+:

  1. Link posts.
  2. Video posts.
  3. Photo posts.
  4. Location posts.

You can write a post and offer a link to something interesting (like your latest blog post). You can upload a photo and write something to go along with it. You can point to YouTube videos or upload a video.

Share!

The other thing you can do is share other people’s interesting posts. There’s a “share” button below most posts. That lets you find the good stuff and share it with your growing community. One point: If someone else has shared something, and you see it in your stream, and then you decide to share it, it’s nice form to credit the person who shared it with you via the text above the share.

Comments Are All the Rage

The advantage that Google+ has over Twitter is the comments. People are having really great time contributing to really good conversations in the comments sections. Comments on photos are just amazing, and in other forms, it depends on what you’re putting out, but people seem to really enjoy the back and forth.  Comment as much as you can on the content others share, and the info that you share.

Try a Hangout

Last, but not least, try a live video Hangout. They are pretty fun. You can do some fun things with them. Aaron Smith does Bible study with his. John Herman does a game show with his. Michael Dell (yes, THAT Michael Dell) does all kinds of conversations with his. It’s really a great way to see what Google+ might be able to do for you as a business platform.

We are actively using Google+ as individuals, but will be well versed when Google opens up G+ for brands.

Condensed from Chris Brogan’s article.

GOT A BUSINESS?  SHOULD YOU BE BLOGGING?

Chances are if you’ve attended any seminars in the last few years on leveraging new technology, social media, and the mighty power of the Internet, you’ve been told that you and your business must blog. Chances are, you’ve also been told just how easy it is to start a blog and that a monkey can do it.

Throw up a page of some kind on any of the popular hosted blog platforms (WordPress, Tumbler, Posterous et. al.), or hire a broke youngster via some crowd-sourcing firm who’ll gladly hook you up with a self-hosted blog for a price of a cup of coffee a day, if only because where he happens to dwell, your money still has a ton of value.

Once you have secured your blogging space, you can now truly broadcast your message to millions of potential customers with a click of a button, so long as you syndicate, and almost anyone looking for whatever it is you are selling will undoubtedly see your blog come up in the first ten results of Google. If not, there are always adwords, or SEOs, either of which will get you some place reasonable on Google for a price of twice-weekly sushi dinner for two at a nice joint, or thereabouts, per month.

Here is what advice they don’t give you at those seminars or e-books on the magical power of business blogging and social media:They don’t tell you that blogging = content creation, i.e. writing (mostly), and for some photography, videography, illustration, etc.

That blogging per se is a meaningless word, thrown out there to make it less intimidating for the non-writers amongst us to throw our thoughts into the great wide world of the Internet. That the only differences between writing a blog or writing an article for a newspaper are that with a blog, you will be less likely to suffer public humiliation should it be lousy, and a small but important fact that there is no editor to guide you, help you fix it, or simply say that your content is not worthy of publication.

Here is why it’s important:

Few people in the world are born great writers, or photographers or anything else that requires a natural gift and the tenacity to hone it overtime. Numbers-wise, probably just as few as have a natural gift for music, painting, or architecture. Fewer, still, have the passion to pursue whatever gifts they are born with. The bloggers who have made their business successful by blogging had not just the gift, but the passion and tenacity to pursue it. You can’t learn how to blog effectively in a 20 minute webinar any more than you can learn to paint by taking those paint by numbers classes. And even more importantly, I am of the opinion that we won’t get good at something for which we lack a natural predisposition by repetition. Trying something may help you discover if you have a talent and passion for it though, but chances are, you already know what you are good at and what you enjoy. Most of us do, past middle school anyway.

So here is my sincere recommendation to anyone who is contemplating diving into the world of blogging for business. Take a step back and look at your style of communication, before you do anything else. How do you come across in your correspondence? Would you read you? And if yes, would you hire you to do whatever it is you are selling? If you don’t think you are good enough, do the smart thing. There are people who are good writers, photographers and online communicators. Find one of those close to you, if your place is a mom and pop type, or elsewhere if it’s not, and entrust that person with maintaining your blog and your social media presence. After all, if you are going to blog for business, your blogging and your social media efforts should be looked at as marketing. In simple terms, posting a half-baked blog online is akin to sending someone a postcard you manufactured on your 1990s Xerox. Your potential clients who see it won’t complain or comment. They’ll just file you into the irrelevant folder, and few ever manage to earn a comeback from that one.

Google+, the new social media platform for brands, and personal use

Google has revealed that it is working on a Google+ experience for businesses and is asking brands not to create Google+ profiles just yet.  The new Google+ experience for businesses won’t be ready until “later this year”.   Perhaps they should have though of this earlier.  We are surprised that Google wasn’t more prepared for the plethora of brands that have been joining its social network. Brands like to go where their customers are.  The same thing happened with Google Buzz and has happened on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and countless other social networks.  Build the appropriate platforms and they will come, en mass.

In a post and accompanying YouTube video on Google+, Product Manager Christian Oestlien says that the Google+ team is working on creating a unique experience for businesses that includes deep analytics and the ability to connect to products like AdWords. “How users communicate with each other is different from how they communicate with brands,” Oestlien argues.

As a result, Google is asking businesses to put their Google+ ambitions on hold.

“The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses,” Oestlien says in his post. “We just ask for your patience while we build it. In the meantime, we are discouraging businesses from using regular profiles to connect with Google+ users. Our policy team will actively work with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles.”

Several prominent brands have already joined Google+, including Ford, Breaking News and Mashable.

IF you have a Google+ personal profile you need to read below:

As Google expands its Google+social network to more people, the final outlines of the program begin to take shape. Here’s one important detail, disclosed on the Google Plus help page: there will be no private Google+ profiles. If you choose to keep your profile private, Google will simply delete it after July 31, 2011.From the Google+ help section:

“The purpose of Google Profiles is to enable you to manage your online identity. Today, nearly all Google Profiles are public. We believe that using Google Profiles to help people find and connect with you online is how the product is best used. Private profiles don’t allow this, so we have decided to require all profiles to be public.

Keep in mind that your full name and gender are the only required information that will be displayed on your profile; you’ll be able to edit or remove any other information that you don’t want to share.

If you currently have a private profile but you do not wish to make your profile public, you can delete your profile. Or, you can simply do nothing. All private profiles will be deleted after July 31, 2011.”

This makes for a crucial difference between Google+ and Facebook; on Facebook, you can have a completely private profile, which won’t even come up in Google’s search results or even Facebook search results (for people who aren’t your friends). On the other hand, to use Google+, you will at least need to make your full name and gender public, meaning people will be able to find you via Google+.

Using Online Video Program Tactics to Draw Regular Audiences

Hulu‘s ‘Trailer Trash’ episodes are released on Mondays.

Companies rushing to develop original video series for the Web are scrambling to solve one of the industry’s biggest problems: building an audience.

The challenge, which has stumped creators since the dawn of Web video, is getting more urgent as many producers shift their attention from creating one-off viral hits to online video franchises. Media companies and advertisers say they have money to invest, but loyal audiences, while growing, remain elusive.

Sites including Hulu LLC, IAC/InterActiveCorp’s CollegeHumor, Blip.tv and Demand Media’s Cracked.com are trying to draw recurring viewership by enticing users to tune in at a certain day of the week, running TV-like promos for Web shows or cross-promoting series against similar content.

onlinevid

Getty ImagesActor Ryan Higa’s tweets helped a short Web film gain viewers.

Newcomers such as Fullscreen Inc. have begun promoting Web shows by tapping people with big followings on social-media sites like YouTube and Twitter and using them as their mouthpieces. They also broker introductions between video creators and established YouTube stars, whom they hope will lend further publicity and buzz by acting in or helping to make a show.

“People now control distribution on the Web,” says George Strompolos, a former YouTube executive who founded Fullscreen in January, saying video creators are building their own distribution channels through social media rather than relying on traffic from sources like Google search and online advertising.

Traffic is wildly inconsistent, as is profitability in Web video. But the upside for potential is there. An online series with a few episodes can cost tens of thousands of dollars or less to make—a sum that, according to producers, can be easily made up with some corporate sponsorships.

The earliest Web series were lucky if they drew tens of thousands of views per episode; today, the hottest shows can draw hundreds of thousands—but only if people know about them, which in the vast Web universe is far from a given.

“Crossing your fingers and hoping people will find out about a show isn’t really a business model,” says Curt Marvis, president of digital media at Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. He said the lack of reliable promotional channels and brand dollars for online videos is among the reasons the company hasn’t invested heavily in it.

Now, the studio is starting to see more potential. Lionsgate partnered with entertainment company Hudsun Media on a new animated Web series, “Trailer Trash,” that’s running on Hulu, selecting the site in part due to its commitment to promoting the show ahead of its launch, Mr. Marvis said. To maximize the cross-promotion, the creators release new episodes on Mondays, when Fox animated comedies appear on Hulu, aiming to make the show a habit for viewers. For extra juice, the team tapped popular YouTube videoblogger Philip DeFranco to star in one of the promos. (News Corp., which owns the Fox TV network and is an investor in Hulu, also owns The Wall Street Journal.)

Mr. Marvis says he expects the show, which earns a cut of ad revenue generated on Hulu, to be profitable in the first year. He declined to say how much it cost or how many views it has received.

Fullscreen helped generate more than 10 million views on YouTube for a short film, “Agents of Secret Stuff,” by putting its stars to work on getting the word out. Its lead actor, Ryan Higa, whose comedy videos have amassed more than three million subscribers on YouTube, tweeted regularly about it, with remarks like, “Wow, this A.S.S. is blowing up! Over 4 million views, thank you everyone!”

Mr. Strompolos said Fullscreen and the other producers made more than the film’s $25,000 cost from advertising revenue on YouTube and by licensing the rights for projects like an iPhone app that replays quotes from the movie and a director’s cut on iTunes.

Ricky Van Veen, co-founder of IAC’s comedy website CollegeHumor, says social media is another promotional game-changer, making it easier to casually push new content to fans or followers instead of relying on old and more intrusive methods like email.

Techniques long deployed by television shows, like using the same actors across series, also work, he said, citing the company’s decision to cast two actors from its viral sketches in a series called “Full Benefits.” “If we had picked two random actors, the audience wouldn’t give it much of a chance,” he said. The series, which generated more than eight million views in its first season, landed a sponsorship from Unilever body products for its second and soon-to-be third season and is profitable, the company says.

Some companies are trying to crack the problem technically. Netflix Inc. plans to market its forthcoming original series “House of Cards” to users who have watched other serialized dramas using its recommendation algorithm. Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, says it will supplement that with some traditional advertising.

Flash Mob Advertising

Many companies have used these in the street advertising events to introduce themselves and promote their brand to a wide audience.  Flash Mobs are fun and innovative and most people have likely seen at least one on the news or on a YouTube video.

The concept appears very simple.  A group of seemingly random people appear to be shopping in a store or walking in a public place.  Suddenly, the group begins to do a coordinated and synchronized action, such as a dance or song.  This apparently impromptu act catches the attention of the other shoppers or pedestrians in the area.  Their interest is piqued and they just need to know why this group is singing, dancing, or doing their act.  The goal is to ensure that the advertising message is skillfully weaved into the Flash Mob’s performance.

If the Flash Mob only reached the people who actual viewed the performance it would have limited impact.  However, the real reason that it’s so successful is that it can easily go viral. Because the Flash Mob is so unexpected and surprising, it grabs attention immediately.  Many of these people will take out their cell phones and film the event which they will then send on to their list of family, friends, and contacts. Some may add to their own social media website like Facebook or MySpace.  In this way the campaign helps your brand gain valuable new people through personal references.

More importantly, Flash Mobs are often picked up by local media which shows the performance on news broadcasts without any costs to you.  This kind of free out of social media based advertising is invaluable and probably impossible to do with traditional advertising methods.

While a Flash Mob may seem like a sudden event that appears to come out of nowhere, it is really an expertly choreographed act with every detail planned. It can take weeks to put an out of home advertising Flash Mob together and to ensure that it will fulfill the goal of grabbing your audience’s attention, encouraging action, and going viral.

Find Influencers Using Free Tools

From Fresh Networks

Here is a list of some of the free tools (or free to a certain level of service) that can be used to find social media influencers.  As with all tools, the data and results require human analysis to ensure you identify the right people.  Also, very few of them will work across the myriad of different social media platforms, and most only focus on particular sites such as Twitter, blogs, or forums.

  • Addict-o-matic – produces a a consolidated page with search matches across blogs, Twitter, Digg, Flickr and more.
  • Alltop – the online magazine rack – search for influential bloggers listed by specific subject and topics.
  • Blogpulse – an automated trend discovery system for blogs. It analyzes and reports on daily activity in the blogosphere.
  • Boardreader – search engine for forums. Get fast and quality search for your own forum.
  • Buzzstream – helps you build a dossier about your influencers.
  • Dailylife - search news and editorial commentary for influencers in traditional media.
  • Facebook – use the “search” function to identify topics and people who are talking about them.
  • Google – possibly still the ultimate free tool for finding influencers, especially since the launch of  Google Blog search, Google Realtime search and their “Discussion” search option.
  • HubSpot Twitter grader – check the power of a twitter profile compared to millions of others that have been graded.
  • IceRocket – search social networking sites and blogs to find influencers and online creators (people who upload images or talk passionately on a social network about a brand).
  • Klout – currently the most respected measure of Twitter influence, Klout allows users to track the impact of their opinions, links and recommendations.
  • Lijit – build relationships with the online influencers and connect directly to their audiences.
  • MentionMap – visualiser tool that allows you to quickly assess the most influential people on Twitter.
  • Monitter – monitor Twitter for key words, phrases and topics that are being discussed online.
  • ObjectiveMarketer – find your influencers and amplifiers across various social media platforms.
  • PeerIndex – helps you discover the authorities and opinion formers on a given topic.
  • PostRank analytics – discover your influencers, identify which social networks give you most traction and benchmark yourself against the competition.
  • Pulse of the Tweeters – uses data mining and sentiment analysis to mine millions of tweets and find the most influential people on Twitter.
  • Socialmention – features an interesting combination of metrics including reach, sentiment, passion, and strength for blogs, Twitter, news, images, video, and audio.
  • Social Profile – keeps you informed of other peoples’ activity in the social web.
  • Social Seek – helps you find out who is making the most noise about your brand.
  • Technorati – considered to be the leading blog search engine – useful for finding influential blogs.
  • TipTop – Search for current trends and topics of interest.
  • TouchGraph – interactive graphs to help visualise links and for mind mapping.
  • Trendistic – find out the what the most influential topics of discussion are on Twitter.
  • Tribe Monitor – measure presence across several different social media platforms.
  • Twazzup – real-time news based on Twitter focused sentiment, top links etc.
  • Tweetlevel – measures an individual’s importance on Twitter.
  • Twendz -helps  see who your influencers are on Twitter.
  • Twitalyzer – Twitter focused tool looking at influence, impact and engagement.

Attensity 360, Brandwatch, Radian6, Alterian, Scoutlabs, Sysomos, Synthesio, Social Radar and PeerIndex – are market leaders and offer comprehensive, cross-platform social media monitoring and influencer identification, which come at a significant price.  See the PDF document below by Fresh Networks regarding the use of these tools.

View the Science of Blogging SlideShow – Insights & Analysis

Duration: 60min presentation and 30min live blog optimization

Presenters: HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist, Dan Zarrella

Dan Zarrella, author of The Social Media Marketing Book

Blogging is one of the most important activities businesses can undertake to increase their inbound marketing results. But until now, bloggers haven’t had access to real data and science about how to do it effectively.

Using exclusive research – Dan Zarrella, HubSpot’s social media scientist – will teach you how to optimize your blogging efforts for maximum impact. Dan’s unprecedented data collection will make you a smarter and more effective blogger.

7 Tips for Succeeding as a Social Media Strategist (Commentary)

Jeremiah Owyang, an industry analyst at Altimeter Group, a digital strategy consulting firm, recently spoke at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association Summit about the career path of the corporate social strategist, touching on current responsibilities and challenges, as well as the future of the role.

Owyang presented seven key tips for building a successful social media program and focused on how social media strategists can facilitate those successes.

RED Brand Media’s take on the article:

I like the consumer advocacy programs. I can see it exploding everywhere. Not only does it make for great PR, but also it may foster consumer trust, and openness with big businesses who adopt it.

Walmart could not go wrong by jumping on the mommy bandwagon. However the sale of inexpensive, non-descriptive fruits, vegetables, meats etc. in their stores causes someone like myself, who is not a mommy, but a better food advocate, to still dimiss Walmart from my day to day social media life.

Overall, I’ve taken away from this post that a Social Media Strategist “enabler” has to be willing to be a content manager, director, orchestrator, and/or delegator.

No problem. Change is good, and we’ll be ready.


Quora

Quora is a user-based question and answer platform that is very innovative.  It’s a good way to do crowd-sourcing, research, and teaching.  It’s also another channel you can use to get social media visibility for your business.

With Quora you are given topics, and based on the topics you choose to follow, they suggest more topics. Quora always suggests topics for you, shows you trending topics, allows your friends to suggest you topics, and gives you relevant topics upon giving an answer. You don’t have to actively search out topics. The topics come to you.

Here is a 60 second YouTube video on how it works:

Facebook Tagging

You can tag friends and pages you have liked from your status updates by including the “@” symbol before a friend’s name. The individual will receive a notification and a wall post linking them to your post. Tagging within your status updates is an effective way to increase the power of sharing  in Facebook.

Watch this video by David Erickson on how to do it:

Five Ways to Use Social Media for Fundraising

by Stacy Jones Sutton

With the recent success of so many cause-driven crowdfunding campaigns for good causes (think Pepsi’s Refresh Everything or Chase Community Giving), non-profits, arts organizations and other institutions are flocking to social networks in droves, hoping to cash in on current corporate social responsibility trends.

Tim just had firsthand experience using social media for fundraising via his fundraising efforts for the Climate Ride and Barrel of Monkeys, a Chicago theater and education company that features Tai of Mightybytes as a member, just received two grants thanks to their efforts with Chase Community Giving. In that spirit, we thought we would share a handful of tips for maximizing your social media fundraising efforts.

Research from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth U.S. Charities’ Adoption of Social Media Report for 2009 shows some impressive statistics, including the fact that 93% of reporting charities have a Facebook profile and 87% a Twitter account, percentages that far exceed those of businesses and corporations.

Still not sure if social fundraising is right for your cause? Check out some of these statistics:

  • Over $27 million has been donated to nearly 30,000 nonprofits through the Causes community application. It is used on Facebook by over 140 million people since its launch in 2007, according to Causes.com.
  • 24,611 bone-marrow registry sign-ups resulted from a combined social media and traditional campaign of friends of a Silicon Valley entrepreneur diagnosed with leukemia. A book titled The DragonFly Effect chronicles this astounding response.
  • $41 million dollars in donations poured in for The Red Cross in January, 2010 following the Haiti earthquake via mobile phones using premium text messages. Mobile giving plays a role in social networking as well, especially considering how many mobile social media apps there are now.

Here are five ways to use social media with fundraising and community response for philanthropic causes, plus some resources and results.

1. Smart Social Donation Software

Use a credible online donation resource with social tools that make it easy to share content. The ClimateRide drove fundraising efforts with DonorDrive. Using this socially aware fundraising tool, participants and teams can promote their fundraising efforts via Facebook (some used Twitter as well) to solicit donations, share milestones, and communicate with donors before and after the event.

There are several companies that offer fundraising and donation software with social media integration. Look around at what leading nonprofits are using to see what fits your needs. Here are a few to explore:

2. Microgiving & Crowdfunding

Using social media tools to share your message and drive investments, donations, loans etc. has created opportunities for sites like Microgiving.com, which uses crowd funding techniques and Facebook apps to help members request funding for ideas, needs, nonprofits, and so on. Other crowdfunding resource sites include:

3. Corporate Cause Efforts

Large corporations have learned the marketing power behind corporate social responsibility and are churning out cause-driven campaigns by the dozens. One of the most well-known examples is Pepsi’s Refresh Everything. Featuring user-submitted ideas and a democratic voting system to help individuals, groups and non-profits secure funding for projects, Pepsi has significantly increased brand awareness while simultaneously fostering a culture of community centered around giving.

Pepsi’s not the only brand on this bandwagon, however. A few more corporate giving programs that operate through public voting and traffic drives include:

4. Ask for Community, Not Cash

Your organization might consider creating its own social fundraising app, or register with companies like Causes.com which makes social tools like online games, apps, etc. to raise money for registered nonprofits. Participating in these social activities helps raise donations through sponsor revenue. Check them out at Facebook.com/causes. Their social tools build communities that drive funding through birthday donations, games, and more. Check out their success case studies blog. If you are going to pass some time on Facebook playing application-based games, why not play one that can make a difference while you are having fun?

The (Lil) Green Patch and The Nature Conservancy was referred to as the “grandaddy of green Facebook apps,” over 6. 3 million users grew virtual gardens, sharing and sending seeds, plants, tools to other users. Sponsors of the game contributed money to save the rainforests in Costa Rica for The Nature Conservancy’s Adopt an Acre program. Claims state that (Lil) Green Patch saved over 70 million square feet of rainforest according to Fast Company article about it. The game was announced to be discontinued in 2010 after acquisition by gaming company, Playdom.

Another company, SocialVibe, cites itself as “the leading social utility connecting people with brands, empowering them to engage with sponsors and share branded content with their social graph to benefit a cause of their choice.” Facebook members can use this application by completing and sharing branded activities (from sponsors), according to SocialVibe, thus making an impact (earning points) for the charity of their choice. There are over 50,000 fans of the SocialVibe Facebook page currently and the company states its community has raised over $700,000 so far for over 40 nonprofits.

5. Use Video

Volunteer testimonials and participant videos will convey passion, educate, and help you share important information about your cause. Clever viral videos posted to video sharing sites like Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr, and so on can help you potentially reach millions of people across the globe. If you are a small organization or participant, even a short video made with your digital camera or mobile phone can be a handy tool in driving awareness about your cause. Just remember to keep your content short, engaging, and to the point. The WWF channel on YouTube is a great example of an effective nonprofit model.

Some other sites of note discovered in researching this article are below. These are worth staying in touch with for social media and and nonprofit efforts.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but rather a good place to get started with social fundraising. If you have any other must have resources or suggestions, please let us know!

10 Steps to Getting Started in Social Media Marketing

Like it or not, you need social media to develop and protect your reputation, and to grow your business.
By Susan Gunelius |   November 25, 2010

When it comes to using social media marketing to build your business, the worst action is no action, and your biggest problem is being invisible, not being talked about negatively. As long as you’re part of the conversation on the social Web, you can hear what’s being said about you and massage negative perceptions about your business. But if no one is talking about you, you have no chance for growth. That means you need to get involved on the social Web as soon as possible, not only to capitalize on the opportunities that it presents to your business, but also to develop and protect your reputation.

It’s a good idea to start with a plan that has goals and an organizing framework to keep you on track. If you start down a path on the social Web and hate what you’re doing, you can change things around. Just as you change networking and conversational approaches in person, you can do so on the social Web. The only differences are that on the social Web, you’re talking through your keyboard, and your potential audience is much, much larger.

Here are 10 steps to get you started.

1. Determine your goals.
What do you want to get out of your social Web participation? Why are you doing it? Are you trying to generate direct sales? Are you trying to offer a form of customer service? Do you want to build relationships with customers and boost loyalty? Your answers to these questions greatly affect the type of content you publish and the activities you participate in on the social Web.

2. Evaluate your resources.
Who is going to create your content? Who is going to maintain your social media accounts.  Who is going to respond to questions and be the face of your business online? Do you have the technical ability in-house to join the online conversation? If not, are you willing to learn? Can you or someone who works with you write well? You need to be sure you have the necessary people in place to execute a social media marketing plan before you start.

3. Know your audience.
Where does your target audience spend time online? What kind of content and conversations do the audience members get most vocal about? What kind of information do they want from you? What do they dislike? Remember, you’re not just pub¬lishing marketing messages on the social Web. You need to find out what your audience wants and needs, so you can provide the kind of content they find useful and interesting. However, you also need to be personable, so they actually want to interact with you.

4. Create amazing content.
Once you know where your audience spends time and what kind of content audience members want, take the time to give them more of that kind of content. Don’t give up. You need to continually offer your audience amazing content, which also comes in the form of conversations, in order to build a loyal fol¬lowing of people who trust you as a source that can meet their needs and expectations.

5. Integrate your marketing efforts.
All of your efforts at social media marketing should feed off each other. Cross-promote your efforts both online and offline, and make sure your social media and traditional marketing efforts work together seamlessly.

6. Create a schedule.
Allocate specific times during your day to devote to social media marketing. For example, spend five minutes on Twitter before you check your e-mail each day and another five minutes before you leave work each day. When you create a schedule, it’s easier to stick to it and make sure you don’t skip your social media marketing activities each day.

7. Adopt an 80-20 rule.
Always spend at least 80 percent of your time on social media activities that are not self-promotional and no more than 20 percent of your time on self-promotional activities.

8. Focus on quality, not quantity.
It can be easy to get caught up in the numbers, but don’t become a slave to followers and subscribers. It’s better to have 1,000 highly engaged, loyal followers than 10,000 followers who sign up to follow you but then never acknowledge you again.

9. Give up control.
You must let your audience take control of the online conversation and make it their own so they develop an emotional attachment to you, your brand, and your business. Remember, on the social Web, apathy or invisibility is a bigger problem than negativity.

10. Keep learning.
You can never stop listening and learning. For success in social media marketing, you need to be flexible and accept that change is good.

This article is an edited excerpt from 30-Minute Social Media Marketing by Susan Gunelius (McGraw-Hill, 2010).


Aneta Hall, Social Media Strategist at Pitney Bowes speaks about her Social Media experience from the past 3 years.


Social Media for Effective Marketing Outreach

Social Media for Effective Marketing Outreach – Webinar Transcript

1. Aneta Hall (@anetah) Social Media Strategist Pitney Bowes, Inc. November, 2010 Social Media for effective marketing outreach
2. BLOG Hi!
3. Google = my ultimate business card
4. Keywords from conversations about Pitney Bowes Keyword cloud
5. facebook.com/PitneyBowes twitter.com/PitneyBowes Flickr.com/PBcorp youtube.com/PitneyBowesInc pbconnect.com/blogs Social Media Ambassadors PB corp. social media channels slideshare.net/pitneybowes BU-specific Soc. Media channels LinkedIn Profile LinkedIn Group
6. Current activities across social media value chain Talking Sharing information with target customers Animating Sparking advocacy and driving positive WOM Supporting Improving the service experience and helping customers get more value PB User Forum: Blogs: Listening Capturing insights and feedback from target customers Soc.Med. activation at events & tradeshows
7. What does this really mean for me (the marketer) ?
8. Marketing campaign basics – the familiar… 1) Identify your audience 2) Develop messaging & creative 3) Distribute across traditional marketing channels 4) Measure results
9. Marketing 2.0 – the basics don’t change! 1) Identify your audience (find out their Social Media profile) 2) Develop messaging & creative (emphasis on interactive content) 3) Distribute across traditional & new marketing channels 4) Remain engaged w/ audience (incl. influencers) AND measure results
10. World Innovation Forum 2010 – Case Study
11. Step 1. Identify your audience
* What’s your audience’s social media habits?
Where do they congregate online? Who influences them?
12. Step 2. Develop content Customer-centric MESSAGING Press release Social media friendly content Lose all marketing speak! User generated content Provide content that encourages comments & elicits dialog Direct mail Website Traditional content types Collatera l Blog post Webinar Video Word of mouth messaging Podcast
13. Develop social media friendly content
14. Encourage influencers to talk about you – WIF Bloggers’ Hub #innobeer tweetup Pizza lunch
15. Develop “Word Of Mouth” worthy content
16. Step 3. Distribute content across communication channels
17. Don’t worry, no one expects you to use all available communication channels.
18. Fish where the fish are… Content PB corp. blog Distribution Activation !!! + Blog post Video Presentation Contest
19. Step 4. Monitor conversations & remain engaged
20. Step 4. … and measure results
* Sales
* Profits
* Improved productivity
* Cost savings
* Qualified leads
* Engagement indicators (RTs, comments, WOM, UGC)
* Perceptions
* Affinity
* Likelihood to recommend
* Sentiment
* Net Promoter Score
* Web Traffic
* # Friends/ Followers
* # Posts
* Social Mentions
* Share of Voice
Harder to measure Easier to measure Volume/ Transactional Metrics Changing attitude Changing behavior Financial Outcomes
21. WIF results – transactional metrics PB brand share of voice went up by 150% as compared with average week
22. WIF results – transactional metrics Traffic to PB innovation blog quadrupled
* Users coming to the innovation site from social media channels spent between 3:00-4:00 minutes vs. 1:11 min. average time on side
* Over 500 “connections” resulting in Twitter follow or RT, LinkedIn group sign-up or blog RSS subscriptions
WIF results – engagement metrics
23. WIF success lead to formalizing social media for event activation at PB

What Can Social Media Do for You & Your Employeer

What Can Social Media Do for You & Your Employeer – Presentation Transcript

1. What can social media do for you and your employer? Aneta Hall Social Media Strategist Pitney Bowes 2/26/2010 Every connection is a new opportunity ™
2. Social media is the biggest shift since the industrial revolution.
* FACTS:
* 96% of Generation Y have joined a social network.
* Social media has overtaken porn as the # 1 activity on the Web.
* If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest.
* 80% of companies are using LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees.
* Wikipedia has over 13 million articles.
* There are 2000 million blogs.
* No. 2 largest search engine is YouTube.
* 34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands.
* 25% of search results for the world’s top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.
* 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations more than mainstream media.
* 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation.
* Online students outperform those receiving face –to-face education.
More stats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8
3. What can social media do for the enterprise? EXTERNAL social media INTERNAL social media Marketing
* Brand awareness
* New channels for content placement
* Building web traffic
* Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Sales
* Finding qualified prospects
* Lead nurturing
* Building connections socially
Public Relations
* External stakeholder communication
* Brand reputation / crisis management
* Engaging w/ new media influencers
R&D
* Crowd sourcing for product. devel.
* Competitive analysis
* Market research
CRM
* Social Customer Service
* Community Support
* Customer engagement
HR
* Talent sourcing & acquisition
* Drive cultural change e.g. Inside Dr.’s bag (internal blog)
* Enhance productivity e.g. wikis, project workspaces
* Enable collaboration e.g. instant messenger, web conferencing
* Eliminate silos e.g. PB Yammer
* Innovate & Ideate e.g. PB IdeaNet
Drive cultural change Enhance productivity Enable collaboration Eliminate silos Foster bottom-up innovation
4. The process of corporate social media adoption Standards Dev. & Training Social Media Governance
* Social Media monitoring
* Social Media Metrics
* Social Media Usage Policies
* Branding Standards
* Crisis Management planning
* Individual channel guidelines
* Social Media Training
* Social Media Council
* Policy and Standards reinforcement
Social Media Strategy
* Social Media strategy development
* Business Unit Social Media strategy consultation
Monitoring & Measurements
5. What can social media do for YOU?
* PERSONAL
o Stay in touch w/ family & friends
o Share content (pics, video)
o Communicate in real/near time
* PROFESSIONAL
o Establish your professional brand
o Create/publish content
o Develop & nurture professional relationships & networks
o Interact w/ experts
o Be found!
6. What does Google (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) say about you? Your name here Facebook search Image search YouTube search
7. More information and action items
* ARTICLES to read
* How to Social Network Your Way into a Job http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/career-articles-how_to_social_network_your_way_into_a_job-1133
* How Social Networking Affects the Student Life Cycle — From Applicant to Graduate http://chronicle.com/blogPost/How-Social-Networking-Affects/4627
* COMMUNITIES to join
* Pitney Bowes Facebook Fan page :) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pitney-Bowes/88676067555
* Undercover Recruiter Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/theundercoverrecruiter
* BLOGS to subscribe to
* LinkedIn for Students http:// blog.linkedin.com /category/students/
* Mashable (social media marketing, news) http://www.mashable.com
* SOCIAL MEDIA tasks
* Search Google (Google images, YouTube, Facebook, etc.) for your name
* Set up a LinkedIn profile
* Set up Google Alerts for your name and topics of interest
Aneta Hall Email [email_address] Blog: http://www.AnetaHall.com Twitter: @ anetaH Facebook: Facebook.com/AnetaHall
8. Every connection is a new opportunity ™ Every connection is a new opportunity

Social Media for Cause Marketing – Holiday Mail for Heroes

Social Media for Cause Marketing – Holiday Mail for Heroes – Presentation Transcript

1. Social Media Case Study Holiday Mail for Heroes Matt Broder VP, External Communications Pitney Bowes Inc. Sept. 16, 2010 Twitter: @ctwordsmith
2. Holiday Mail for Heroes is a Partnership
3. Social Media is Integrated into Campaign Celebrity Endorsements Press Releases Program Website Card-Signing Events Media Outreach Social Media Tools & Activities
4. Distinguish Between Passive & Active
5. For active channels, targeting is crucial Mommy bloggers Military family bloggers Teacher bloggers Amy Grant fans Spontaneous bloggers @holidaymail
6. Once targeted, then engage…
7. No such thing as too much content… DC card making event Original program video DC veterans day event US Congress card signing New program video Amy Grant’s PSA Dr. Phil’s PSA Hartford state card signing Chicago Chapter volunteers Stamford card making event Individual videos Walter Reed event Thank-you 2008 Videos 2009 Videos
8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZCPy03re30&feature=related
9. No such thing as too much content…
10. Once engaged, then encourage & reward…
11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFiqyka8e04
12. Metrics Show Strong Growth… Bloggers 2008 2009 Of Note 469 Visitors 5,973 Visitors 12x increase in driving traffic to program home page 3 videos > 10 videos > 10,000 video views altogether 120 Tweets 56 Referrers > 72,000 impressions; 350 additional ‘tweeps’ engaged 1,663 Tweets 555 Referrers 90 Solicited 18 Secured Unsolicited mentions rose sharply anyway 180 Solicited 15 Secured
13. Unsolicited blogger mentions increased
14. Red Cross Landing Page Traffic Veteran’s day kickoff Final push before 12/7 PO box closing Fox News Coverage Total of 155K visits; fourth most popular site on redcross.org
15. Social Media Drove Website Results
16. Traditional Media Results Also Strong Cumulative Media Stories: 1,249 Cumulative Impressions: 554 million
17. But We Can Always Improve New in 2010 Still Looking to Fix…

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